Each year MoMA's Department of Film collaborates with the Robert Flaherty Film Seminars to focus on a filmmaker who is an invited guest of the Seminars. This year we present a mid-career retrospective of Deborah Stratman, a Chicago-based artist who works in experimental and documentary film. This year’s 59th Flaherty Seminar, History Is What’s Happening, examines both the frame and the subject of history in cinema in order to understand how the social and political conditions of the past are inextricably linked to the present. Stratman’s films subtly incorporate visual, textual, and aural strategies to reveal how places, ideas, and the undercurrents of society are intertwined. She records various landscapes in both rural and urban areas and examines them through history, science, written texts, and mythology.
Organized in collaboration with History Is What’s Happening: The 2013 Robert Flaherty Seminar (June 15–21, Colgate University) by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art; with Pablo de Ocampo, curator and Artistic Director, Images Festival, Toronto; and Anita Reher, Executive Director, the Robert Flaherty Seminars.